Netflix giveth and Netflix taketh away. In this case Netflix taketh away the value of Hero for Hire #1, which makes it a great time to nab a copy if you were on the fence before now.
Two years ago, Luke Cage was coming off a generally well-received first season, and the Marvel Netflix shows were all the rage. That love affair with Luke Cage sent prices for his first appearance soaring. Around that time, you couldn’t buy a graded HFH #1 for under the triple digits. In 2017, even the 2.5 – the lowest grade sold that year – was bringing $142 on average. Then came the dismal second season in 2018 followed by the now-infamous Netflix purge when the company gave the ax to all but two of the Marvel shows, and we’re all dreading the inevitable when it comes to those. If you want to know more about why Netflix is dropping all their Marvel shows, here’s an interesting read from Forbes, “The Real Reason Netflix is Cancelling Its Marvel Shows.” (Spoiler alert, it’s related to Disney’s upcoming streaming service.)
With the news came a significant drop in Hero for Hire #1 in the tail end of 2018, and the prices are still plummeting. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Marvel Studios could have Mike Colter reprise the role in some fashion, which would definitely help stop the bleeding, but nothing has been said. At this point, it doesn’t appear Luke Cage – or any of the characters from the Marvel Netflix series – will make another live-action appearance for years, and that’s bad news if you invested in HFH #1 at its peak.
That’s not to say that HFH #1 isn’t a good seller. Despite falling values, it is still showing positive numbers in terms of sales volume. For the past month, it’s ranked 19th in best-selling bronze age titles, and 10 different grades have traded hands in January. However, there’s no denying that each one of those grades has taken a mighty turn in the wrong direction.
At first glance, the 9.6 would appear to be doing well following a sale of $4,050. On second look, it’s down over $700 from its 2017 average of $4,793. What’s even more eye-opening is that it is now selling for less than half of the record high of $8,500 from 2016.
Speaking of record highs, nine of the ten grades sold this year saw single-sale records within the past three years, and two of those were set in 2017: the 9.4 and the 3.0. The 9.4 peaked at $4,635 on January 1, 2017, but it sold earlier this month for $2,503. Last February, the 3.0 brought $125, but it has steadily sold for $110 since then.
THE SILVER LINING FOR THE BRONZE AGE COMIC
Over the past decade, Luke Cage’s status in the Marvel Comics universe has escalated, and it won’t diminish just yet. Keeping him relevant in the comics will help the character to retain his popularity while mainstream fans wait for word of his next on-screen role.
That being said, this decline has created a prime buyer’s market for a comic that is worth adding to any collection. Whereas you may not have been able to afford a higher grade in 2016-2017, now you can pick up an 8.0 for less than $500 when it sold for as much as $900 three years ago. If you want to stay under $200, you can go all the way up to a 6.0. With the way the market is looking, you might get those even cheaper six months from now.